The purpose of strategic thinking
So our thoughts die instead of us
Why do we think strategically?
A basic question, sure, but a critical one nonetheless. We shouldn’t do things without a good reason.
Survival and success are usual suspects, in this case, that are good enough for me.
An endeavor is worthy of strategic thinking when we are locked in competition of some sort. The presence of a living, willed adversary committed to our downfall increases the odds that we won’t make it. We may lose.
This fact is as frightening as it is motivating. The enemy at the gates sharpens the mind and the will. It is this motivation that drives one to think through the next step, the opponent’s response, the step after, another opponent’s strike, and so on. But you require motivation to actively think this through, just as only a car with fuel will get anywhere.
Part of what motivates is the stakes involved. If you were playing a game of checkers with a child to win a cookie, you likely wouldn’t put much forethought into your next move. But if around that same checker-board is a criminal who threatens to take your child if you lose, then the stakes are much higher.
This is the second motivating factor. First you want to beat someone (or, in some cases, get through something) that wants to beat you back. Second is the knowledge that if you lose, the consequences will be steep.